This is a wonderful, dynamic point in history to be alive. We are more connected than ever. We have more options and resources than we had yesterday, thanks to the internet. The virtual world is literally growing at record speed, offering us more ways to expand our minds and worldviews. There are more options for everything else as well: lifestyles, treatment for diseases, jobs, etc. Same-sex marriage is now legal in California, which is a huge and important step towards equality.
This is also one of the scariest and most sobering times. We are more connected and plugged-in, and yet the emotional distance between people seems to grow more and more. Recently, I heard someone throw out a very offensive racial slur like it was nothing for no good reason at all (but is there ever a good reason?). I found this deeply troubling. Here we are, on the cusp of discovering so many new things - and yet we still don't know how to treat each other with respect and - dare I even say it? - love.
When I hear things like that, I have to wonder if the progress we have made has been cancelled out by bigotry, sexism, homophobia, and hatred. I have to wonder if we have learned anything from the tragedy of 9/11 at all.
This is an anniversary that reminds me of all the different beliefs that exist in the world and how taking those beliefs too far can be incredibly destructive. It's something that I try to remember: that no matter what the color of our skin is, no matter what church we go or don't go to, no matter what our political affiliation is, we are all just people.
I don't always succeed, naturally. But the memories of 9/11 make me want to keep trying my absolute best at being a good person.
I realize that this sounds like some after-school special or Lifetime movie, but I don't have it in me to come up with something really clever right now. So naive cliches it is.
Happy awakening day, America. It's time to turn things around. It's never too late to start living more consciously.